(Photography by Sarah Chorey)

First Taste: Sexy Interiors and Exotic Bites Make Villon Prime for Date Night

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Hotel restaurants don't always get the hype they deserve (and many don't deserve the hype they get), but in the sparkling new Proper Hotel, Villon holds its own.

It's tough earning street cred in the culinary Arcadia that is the Bay Area—particularly as a hotel, which can often be skimmed past as overpriced and probably lacking in local cool factor. But so far, the Proper Hotel has effectively positioned itself on the map of San Francisco hot spots, first luring us for the fabulous Kelly Wearstler design and craft cocktails on the rooftop patio at Charmaine's, and now convincing us to stay and dine.

At the upscale, eclectic Villon, James Beard Award–nominated chef Jason Franey (formerly of New York's Eleven Madison Park and Monterey's 1833) manages to shake up American and continental fare with a surprise ingredient on nearly every plate—you may find a deviled egg in your tuna tartare or apples alongside the sashimi.

Of course, those stuffing their bellies at the restaurant still get the intoxicating perks of an evening at Charmaine's: Villon shares the bar's menu of 49 craft cocktails, compliments of the Trick Dog team, and the hotel's decor, with all of Wearstler's signature playful glamour, mingles throughout.


So long, gnocchi. Hello, gnudi. These naked ricotta dumplings, skinny-dipping in sunchoke fondue sauce, are so good you'll want to order seconds.

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